But that will all change at York’s old fire station on Saturday (September 10), when a gig is held there illuminated by candles.
The unusual venue on Clifford Street has become a pop-up arts space until the building is redeveloped.
And By Candlelight, a York group which presents national and local artists in unconventional locations, has brought singer-songwriter Jess Morgan to play there.
Over the past few years Jess has been making a noise in the UK and further afield with a string of albums comprised of acutely observed, beautifully delivered country-folk ballads; song about travel, about people, about history, about love, about whatever the song needs.
She is supported by Stillhouse, a mandolin, guitar, double bass and vocal trio.
We asked Jess about putting on a hot gig at a fire station…
What do you think of this unusual venue?
I’m really looking forward to getting inside to see it for myself. There’s something exciting about playing music in spaces where that wouldn’t have previously happened. I’ve had the chance to play in churches and chapels and last time in York I was at the Guildhall but there’s something relatable about a fire-station, something stirring – inviting us to make noise while also deserving our respect.
How did you get involved?
I was looking to play a concert in York. As I mentioned, last year I supported David Ford at the Guildhall which was a wonderful location and a terrific crowd. The guys behind ‘By Candlelight’ suggested we make another gig to remember – and this time a headline show for me with my band.
What do you have planned for the night?
We’ll be playing out a set of new songs from my new album Edison Gloriette [released on October 21st]. Brad the bassist and I will be fresh from our Scottish dates and I’ve invited Jay – a multi instrumentalist based in London up to add something special.
It’ll be really raw and fresh and there’ll be some laughs along the way. Support comes from my buddy Polly Bolton and her excellent band, Stillhouse.
What have been the highlights of your musical career to date?
Certainly making this record. I set out to make it in such a way that would be easy on me and memorable and ever step of the way it has been a joy. It’ll sound cheesy – but the people you meet and the friends you make doing this are the greatest blessing – more so than any stage or review.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m going to be touring with the new record until the end of the year and into the spring – hopefully getting back across to Norway and Germany too. I’ve got dates in the diary to write songs with a few super talented friends – it’ll be interesting so see if anything comes out of that.
Anything else we should know?
I’m running a Pledge Campaign with the new record as it’s centrepiece. Via my page on Pledge Music you can pre-order the album and if you like, order something hand-made or personalised if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m the sort of person who IS really into this sort of thing. I love making the special merchandise – just as I have enjoyed all the limited edition short runs of things I’ve made in the past, most memorably – The Bournemouth EP which sold out inside a day, or the home-made 7″ records I’ve been casting in my kitchen!
Spotify isn’t the be all and end all of music – and if you want something you can hold in your hands, or that gives you a deeper understanding of the music and the story – this is for you.